Marriage License Information

Marriage Licenses

Important Note: During this time of the pandemic, many Clerks are requiring appointments to come in and apply for the license. PLEASE call before arriving so as to not delay the application process.

In the state of Wisconsin, residents must obtain their marriage license from the County Clerk in the county where one party has resided for at least 30 days immediately prior to making the application.

Can you clarify that?

*A six (6) day waiting period is required before the license may be issued. Marriage licenses are valid for 30 days.

Can you clarify that?

What that means is that if you live in, for example, Outagamie County for at least 30 days prior to applying for your marriage license then you would apply in Outagamie County. If you recently moved to another county, but less than 30 days before applying for your license, you would apply in the county from which you moved.

What does that mean?

What this means is that you cannot apply for your marriage license less than 6 days prior to the ceremony date.* If your ceremony is on the 10th of the month, you cannot apply later than the 3rd of that month. You can apply 30 days prior to the ceremony-- in fact, I highly recommend it!

What will I need when I apply for my license?

  • Both parties must be present
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate (A “certified copy” may be purchased from the Register of Deeds in any county in Wisconsin, provided you were born in Wisconsin.) Hospital birth certificates are NOT accepted.
  • Proof of county of residency: your driver’s license if the address is current, a utility bill, rent statement, or bank statement
  • Social Security number
  • Date and place of marriage ceremony
  • Name, address and phone number of the officiant (I provide this information on the Marriage Officiant Contract)
  • If either party has been married previously, copies of the signed or stamped “filed” judgment of divorce, annulment papers, or certified death certificate of the spouse from the previous marriage

The Ceremony

Two witnesses must be present to sign the license after the ceremony; these witnesses must be competent and 18 years of age or older. The officiant can’t be a witness.

IF YOU ARE AN OUT OF STATE COUPLE
The majority of this applies to you, but I suggest calling the Clerk in the county where the ceremony will take place to find out if they will allow you to apply for your license less than 6 days prior in the event you aren’t able to be in-state during the 30 to 6 days, or if they require different information regarding residency. 

I will perform ceremonies on short notice, but unless you have the go-ahead from your County Clerk I cannot agree to marry you less than 6 days prior to the ceremony.*

*It is at the discretion of the County Clerk in some instances in which a license may be issued less than 6 days prior to the ceremony. Contact your county’s Clerk to determine if they will issue the license.